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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Los Picudos' Enormous Torta Ahogada Is a Fallen Beast

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 9:23 AM

click to enlarge Its greatest virtue? Sheer volume. - ANDREW SIMMONS
  • Andrew Simmons
  • Its greatest virtue? Sheer volume.
We remembered the 24th St. torta-off being a little more of a competition, La Torta Gorda's barge-size Mexican-style panini squaring off against the very slightly smaller, somewhat grungier sandwiches at Tortas Los Picudos. They're like apples and oranges, we once thought: If you wanted a chicken milanesa, you went to Gorda; if you craved a torta ahogada, you visited Picudos. No longer.

Last week, we split a torta ahogada ($6.50) with a friend. We were excited when the beast arrived on a slippery plastic plate ― a loaf of bread smeared with refried beans and avocado, and stuffed with chunks of carnitas, a healthy pour of spicy red sauce glazing the top. After a few bites, our enthusiasm waned. The sauce tasted like chile-spiked Prego; the bread was too frail to maintain any semblance of its shape.

Once excavated from the interior, the fried pork bits were tasty enough, but consumed as a whole, the sandwich evoked frozen French bread pizza more than anything. Thank goodness we ordered a chicken sope too. That was excellent ― threads of stewed chicken laced with crema on a crunchy tortilla puff.

Tortas Los Picudos 2969 24th St. (at Alabama), 824-4199

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